Happy Cog’s Yesenia Perez-Cruz has had enough of “One Size Fits All” productivity systems:

Every week, it seems, someone has discovered “the new way to work that everyone should be doing.” While I love a healthy process debate, I find discussions that promote a one-size-fits-all design approach problematic… A good process works for me, my teammates, and the client team. It’s tailored to the problems I’m solving and is built from a collection of interchangeable parts.

Amen. This is one of the reasons we sometimes give varying advice here at 99U, like writing about how to set rules for your email versus scrapping it all together. Or advocating time-off versus encouraging a little hustle. The concept of “productivity systems” encourages a passive approach: “just let the system do the work!” Instead, we must be sure to borrow a little bit from everyone and always be critically (and honestly) analyzing our process.

  • http://oneorganizedbusiness.com/ Alaia Williams

    I wholeheartedly agree. People hire me to help them get their systems and processes in place. I think many of them would LIKE me to tell them there’s some magic solution that will work for everyone, but that just isn’t case – with any type of system. I give a wide variety of advice myself. What works for me as a solo entrepreneur who is organized might not work for my disorganized client who runs a team of four and spends tons of time on the road. I also point out that tips found in books, for example, are written for a mass audience, not for your *exact* situation. If you like a system that you see, take it, but make it your own – tweak it until it fits your needs and never be afraid to make adjustments or move on to something that will work better for you.

  • http://writingresearchediting.com/ Ronda Bowen

    I like to look at systems – like GTD – and then work them so that they work for me. I think it’s cool to be able to read something and incorporate it into an already existing system – but it’s also important to avoid constantly reworking your productivity system.

  • http://twitter.com/flowstache FlowStache

    Agreed! One of the reasons we built FlowStache was to allow different people to work in different ways while still sharing the same data. Our interface will evolve to be even more flexible as time goes on, simply because there is no “right way” to design a productivity interface. Thanks for the great article!

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